Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Get yourself an ology

One of the great TV ads was put out in the '80s by BT, who were trying to get people to use the telephone more.  (Nowadays, one probably ought to be trying to get people to use the telephone less).  Maureen Lipman was on the telephone to her grandson, who seemed to be telling her his GCE results.  She was so excited, and the icing on the cake was when she discovered that, "Oh, he's got an ology".  We should all, of course, get an ology, and my suggestion is that we should take a degree in meteorology: we won't be able to predict the weather, but we will definitely have an ology.

This is too good to be true.  I didn't declare Hymn For The Dudes for Bath today because the ground was clearly hard (although officially it was merely "firm") at declaration time.  There were two bands of rain due to pass over the racecourse (Monday into Tuesday, and Tuesday into Wednesday) and then Wednesday was due to be warm and dry.  Each band of rain was forecast to yield between 3mm and 10mm of rain.  My feeling was that, even if the bands yielded their predicted maximum results, the ground would still be on the firm side by 8.00 tonight (Wednesday).

So what happened?  The first band of rain was as predicted, yielding 8mm.  The second band had yielded 19mm by 7.00 o'clock this morning, at which time it was still raining and was forecast to continue to rain through the day, yielding a further 10mm.  So the ground at that time was good to soft, soft in places, and presumably set to soften further.  Ah well.  We can't get it right all the time. (By 'we', I mean both meteorologists, professional and amateur, and trainers - because I was far from the only trainer to get it wrong, bearing in mind that the ever-rising tally of non-runners, currently 33, suggests that the trainers who did declare their horses were largely also expecting the racecourse to receive a lot less rain than it has done.

I've now just looked at Bath's updated report.  The 7.00 report has turned out to have erred on the optimisic side.  At that stage, the current band of rain had so far yielded 19mm of rain, and another 10mm was forecast.  By 12.00 it had yielded another 9mm, taking its total to 28mm, and the forecast was for 10mm still to come.  Clearly we should have gone to Bath, but it's not the end of the world.  The horse holds a couple of entries next week and, although there have been six non-runners in his race, he would still have been in a 10-runner field largely composed of horses with stronger credentials than his.  I certainly don't feel that we've cost ourselves a winner by not being there; in fact, as a lot of rain on a previously very firm surface on a tight track is always a worry (as Windsor found out on Monday) it might be the case that we have merely cost ourselves a faller.  One never knows.


neil kearns said...

I think that we are following the lead of the US where races over further than 12 furlongs are sometimes deemed marathons it must also weaken the potential value of horses being sold to go jumping as in my book being effective over 12 furlongs to truly get 2 miles plus over fences and from a spectacle point of view watching a meeting of all short races (although allowing plenty of between race refreshment time) is frankly boring .

We can't do nothing about the weather - learned to cost on Monday when had a load of soil delivered to construct garden feature which had to be moved by hand on the hottest day of the year - when ordered the local forecast suggested decent day not tropical weather !!

Group penalties (have been getting my goat this week) - they seem to me to be downgrading top level racing - in my book groups 1 , 2 and 3 races should be purely level weight (weight for age allowances are ok) events so as we can actually say who is best on a given day . I wondered what your thoughts are ?
If one follows this through to its logical conclusion why not penalise group one winners in later group ones ? it does not make any sense

neil kearns said...

congratulations on receiving your trainingology award

I think you will be lucky to get a mark under 90 going forward if she were mine I M would go for a small pattern race (or big one) on suitable ground most don't have big fields on fast ground but if you do please considrr keeping the jockey aboard she deserves it

really chuffed for all of you